Author Archive

Michael Rosano, the Ultimate City Hall Insider, and a Dear Friend

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

The first month honors Janus, whose two faces let him simultaneously contemplate past and future. I suspect most of us look backwards, contemplating time spent, which increasingly for me is marked by death. In my college’s quarterly alumni newsletter, nearly 25 years after my graduation, an increasing number of familiar names appear among the obituaries. [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

There’d Be No Toy Trains Under Your Tree If It Weren’t for Joshua Lionel Cowen

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

The Warner Bros. film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books show the apprentice sorcerers traveling between the human world and their school of witchcraft and wizardry via the Hogwarts Express, a passenger train that starts from London at Platform 9 3/4, King’s Cross Station. The train shown in the [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

W.R. Grace, the Businessman Mayor

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

New Yorkers recently chose a self-made billionaire businessman who had never held office to be the 108th mayor of the City of New York. His major opponent, a politician apparently without business experience, argued that at least a decade at the public trough was a requirement for the office. Many commentators apparently shared this belief, [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Transitions: Mayoral Election Digest; The Loss of Liberty

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

The End of Ideology. The revolutionary left did not contest this year’s municipal elections. The Communist, Socialist, Socialist Labor and Socialist Workers tickets were not on the ballot. Somehow the ballot seemed incomplete without the SWP’s striking emblem: a lightning bolt shattering the chains of capitalism wrapped around the globe. n As for more idiosyncratic [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Bill Fallon, the “Great Mouthpiece” and Archetypal Amoral Criminal Defense Lawyer

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

"He’s the guy that the joke was wrote about: ‘Is he a criminal lawyer?’ "Yes, very.’" –Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest   Bill Fallon was called "The Great Mouthpiece." Though he practiced law in Manhattan for less than a decade, he represented some of New York’s leading pimps, illegal narcotics dealers, embezzlers, swindlers and operators such [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

A.T. Stewart’s Grave Was Robbed, His Body Snatched

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

Graverobbers, often called ghouls, practice a trade nearly as old as the veneration of the dead. In modern times, they became the resurrection men, providing fresh bodies for dissection in medical schools. Burke and Hare, the Edinburgh resurrectionists who murdered to increase their supply, are merely the most famous of this kind. The late 1870s [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

Our Dear Queen: The Viscount Cornbury Looked Lovely in a Blue Silk Gown

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

The Royal Governors of the Province of New York, the men who ruled here in the names of Britain’s kings and queens before the Revolutionary War, are forgotten. Place-names recall some. Fort Tryon Park bears the last royal governor’s name. Staten Island’s Dongan Hills commemorates Col. Thomas Dongan, who granted the Charter of Liberty and [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

The Towers Gain a New Perspective

Written by William Bryk on . Posted in Miscellaneous, Posts

We must not forget how undistinguished the World Trade Center was. "When completed," the authors of the 2000 edition of the AIA Guide to New York City wrote, "these stolid, banal monoliths came to overshadow Lower Manhattan’s cluster of filigreed towers, which had previously been the romantic evocation that symbolized the very concept of ‘skyline.’" [&hellip
[ read more... ]

Be the first to comment on this post

..